When Lent gives you lemons, make a curd

We bought a lemon tree a couple of years ago. Bonnie Sue Ellis came home with what appeared to be a scrawny seedling from friends at our neighborhood garden store. Bonnie is a strong, passionate, observant, prayerful, exuberant pillar of our community life. She is also the unchallenged maker of our sweat teas and saladContinue reading “When Lent gives you lemons, make a curd”

Burial Gardens: Life and Death in Lent

Last year, during the Lent that still hasn’t ended, I took my children on a walk to the local cemetery. The grounds were beautiful and included a small pond accessible only by a simple wooden bridge on one side and a more ornate stone bridge on the other. The cemetery was nearly as old asContinue reading “Burial Gardens: Life and Death in Lent”

Harden Not Your Hearts: Hearing the Call for Repentance

I know well enough that the time to address racial inequity was centuries ago. It is also now. And while it is a national sin, it is my work as much as anybody else.

The coronavirus, the cross and our vocation

I wasn’t sure what it would look like, or how terrible it would be, but deep in my gut I felt something squirming. An awareness. A knowing. An intuition. I had a feeling that bad days were ahead. I am fairly certain that my intuition that we were heading toward a humanitarian crisis wasn’t unusual.Continue reading “The coronavirus, the cross and our vocation”

Lent in a pandemic

I’ve been inside since Wednesday afternoon.  It all started when a friend, who ministers in New York, texted me to say that someone in his parish was being tested for the coronavirus (or Covid-19) and everyone who attended liturgy with them could be quarantined. I was alarmed. I realized that the epidemic was no longerContinue reading “Lent in a pandemic”

penitents and elements

ash sand air wind flame land repent repent penitents and elements children of God children of earth repent repent skin spit breath bone flesh fire repent repent change convert transform trust humble mortal repent repent these bodies hold histories hopes mysteries every one weak broken all made for union communion penitents and elements children ofContinue reading “penitents and elements”

For We Know Not What We Do

The world that surrounds us is daunting,        too many voices speak truth        and prophetic words from false prophets sow division. God cannot be both compassionate and a defense through which morality props up the unjust But the most persuasive voices        can tailor the emperor’s clothes to align with God’s will or is it man’s? SoContinue reading “For We Know Not What We Do”

Strength in weakness

But he said to me, ‘My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.’ Therefore I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me.  — 2 Corinthians 12:9 Lent is a time I focus on my weaknesses. I don’tContinue reading “Strength in weakness”

White supremacy and me and you

1. I am driving through the Northwoods of Wisconsin, talking to a friend, a man I know very well, on the phone. Tall, snow-covered pines line the ditches; gray overcast hovers. The man and I are catching up, chatting about our lives. The tone of his voice becomes shameful, reluctant. My gaze moves over theContinue reading “White supremacy and me and you”

Preaching the Gospel for the first time … again

I sat down in front of 15 pre-K students for our bi-weekly Bible story time, expecting more or less to follow our routine. Every Wednesday and Friday I join them for a 15-minute story session, telling toddler-friendly versions of Sunday’s scripture or the classic Bible stories that adults clean up and present to young children:Continue reading “Preaching the Gospel for the first time … again”